Welcome to the Carrying Matters website.

Rosie is passionate about helping parents and carers to carry their children; carrying matters in so many ways. The positive effects of close and loving contact are enormous, and investment early on in family life is well worth it. Carrying is connection; it matters to children, their carers, and society. Here you can find everything you need to know about how to carry your baby safely and well, why babywearing is so normal and useful, how to choose a baby carrier, and help for all sorts of circumstances.

carrying children matters

The simple act of connecting with a small person through the medium of loving touch has powerful and long-lasting effects on both child and carer. Babies need to be held close to encourage normal physiological and psychological development, especially in the early months.

Children thrive when they are carried, resilience builds and families flourish when the needs of all its members are met. Carrying is connection; carrying matters!

Read more about why carrying matters here.

carry me daddy

Keeping babies safe in any kind of baby sling or baby carrier is of paramount importance. The first most vital issue is to ensure that baby’s airway is open and unobstructed, with chin off the chest and the ribcage well supported. Babies’ temperatures should be considered too; they are surprisingly warm, and overheating can cause problems. Read more about sling safety here.

beco gemini

Secure attachment to other people is vital to human health and wellness; we thrive on relationship, on belonging. Such healthy attachments are the bedrock to future positive mental health and enjoyable relationships. However, 40% of children lack secure attachments, and are significantly disadvantaged, especially those growing up in poverty, or with a high number of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Encouraging carers to spend more time in close physical contact with their children, is one way to improve the building of positive bonds that last a lifetime.

Read more about the importance of building secure attachments here, and how carrying children in slings can build the resilience they need to thrive despite adversity.

when the time comes to stop carrying

About Rosie

“I am a mum of 2, a family doctor in the UK (a GP), and a passionate advocate of building secure attachment relationships between children and their carers, due to the long lasting effects this has on future health. I believe that carrying children plays a large part in building such bonds, be it in arms or in a sling. With Carrying Matters, I focus on providing accessible information and education about this for parents and the professionals who support them. Sling and carrier use is not a new concept at all; but our Westernised society has lost the communal sharing of knowledge. We are no longer surrounded by a community of people who can help us get to grips with parenthood and share the load, so we need support in newer and more structured ways. This is what I do; empower people to keep their children close in a safe and positive way.”

Her book, “Why Babywearing Matters”, was published by Pinter and Martin in May 2016. It was translated into Polish “Dlaczego noszenie ma znaczenie?” by Nicminiewisi and Lenny Lamb in May 2018.  She has written for a wide range of publications, including Juno Magazine, and has a regular freelance blogging role for Boba (links can be found in the Blog section).

She founded the Sling Pages, an independent website listing all the known sling professional resources in the UK and Eire.

She is a practising GP in the UK with a particular interest in holistic medicine as well as children and women’s health and medical ethics. She began her career in hospital medicine but switched to general practice because of its flexibility with family life and the opportunities it presents to be more closely involved with communities, from cradle to grave. She has two children of her own, who have both been carried happily, and a husband who works alongside her at their local Sheffield premises. Rosie founded the Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library in 2013 and has supported thousands of parents across the South Yorkshire region, helped by a volunteer team of fantastic, committed parents who have found carrying their own children to be life-changing. They all want to help their fellow parents to discover this for themselves!

Rosie developed the “Fourth Trimester” sling meet model with her colleague Lindsay Snow, focusing on the needs of parents with bumps to four months. Families often struggle to deal with the biological needs of their new baby within the confined structures and expectations of modern society, which can be damaging to the building of secure attachments.

The needs of baby and caregivers are both important, as is the mental health and happiness of the whole family. Human beings were not designed to live in small isolated units but in supportive social groupings.

Holding babies close (in arms or in a soft sling) can be a very useful tool for families struggling with mental health disorders, pre, peri or postnatally. The close contact and the soft touch has biochemical hormonal effects that can help to reduce anxiety, improve feelings of wellbeing and connection, as well as lifting the mood. Read more about this here.

You can find your local sling library or sling meet by searching the Sling Pages resource, get in touch with them!

Using a sling (carrier) helps parents to keep their child as close as their biology needs, while also being able to function as adults in a demanding and inflexible world.

rosie knowles

Rosie trains carrying advocates and sling/carrier peer supporters through the Born to Carry initiative, running courses in Sheffield and nearby. She has trained health care professionals, sling librarians, fitness course leaders and interested parents.

She lectures at conferences and gatherings around the UK and Europe about a range of topics, all related to early years parenting and how slings and carriers can make a huge difference to babies, their carers and to society.

“I’d highly recommend any enthusiast to attend this course. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and look forward to being able to use this new knowledge to help more parents discover the benefits of babywearing, as I have.”

“Rosie is a wonderful teacher, very clear and good at explaining. I felt she was well educated in her field and able to answer any question thrown at her. Also very friendly which made me feel comfortable and relaxed in a learning environment and confident to ask questions.”

Get in touch with her here.

Have you ever wondered what I sound like?
Megan from the Attachment Parenting Podcast interviewed me the other week and we talked about exterogestation, carrying babies, and attachment.
I hope you enjoy it!

I'll be speaking in Sweden and Glasgow later in the year.

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1 day ago

Carrying Matters - Dr Rosie Knowles

Many congratulations to another nine peer supporters trained in Sheffield today! Coming from York, Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield, it was a great day exploring the theory behind why carrying matters and its benefits, as well as how to carry children safely and comfortably in a range of slings. Every course is slightly different and today's had a focus on respect for the child and slings as a safe space for both halves of the carrying dyad.
Ruchi, Lydia, Sara, Maz, Hannah, Jenny, Toni, Gill and Anne, it was a delight to have you today!
#carryingmatters #carryingisnormal #carryingisconnection Born To Carry #peersupport #babywearingtraining Close Parent #bobawrap #hanababywrap
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2 days ago

Carrying Matters - Dr Rosie Knowles

Life can be so hard... it is good to help whenever we canCarriers can make a real difference to families in difficult situations. The Building Bonds Project team were asked to come to the Sheffield Children's Hospital and Charity to help this family. Their little boy who was previously very well only a few months ago, is now unable to walk or talk, due to a brain condition. He is getting intensive rehab from the physiotherapy and occupational therapy teams and his family wanted something to help them hold him close: he needs to feel loved and they want to be able to express their love for him. That's what the power of a hug and being cuddled close can do.
We gave his family this Beco Toddler carrier and you can see how it is helping to hold him against his mother's body. His arms can be wrapped around her and the OT's can work on his stiff fingers and wrists from this place of relaxation. He smiled and made happy sounds at his father from this position... it was very therapeutic for everyone amidst the sadness of it all.
Thank you for all your support... for the carrier donations, for the offers of help, for the sharing and telling others about us. Soon we will have our fundraising link set up so we can buy specific carriers if needed and work on information leaflets and growing the service.


#buildingbondsproject #buildingbonds #keepthemclose #therapeuticbabywearing
#friendsofbuildingbonds #improvingaccess #slingsinsheffield
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I and two friends (Danielle and Stacie) have launched the Building Bonds Project in Sheffield. We believe everyone should be able to carry their children as there are so many benefits to the whole family. We support, fit and donate comfortable and safe baby and toddler carriers to families in hardship or difficult circumstances (such as refugees, trafficked women, domestic violence), or those with children in hospital with prolonged or life limiting illnesses. We are volunteers, and are able to do this by the generosity of the Friends of the Project who fundraise or donate carriers #buildingbonds #buildingbondsproject #slingsinsheffield #carryingmatters #carryingisnormal #carryingisconnection
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Sleepy dust at our 4th Trimester session at the Snug this morning.. learning about what is normal sleep for babies and how to cope with it.

Read more about the 4th Trimester here
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